MINSK, Belarus, July 28, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and the Belarusian Ministry of Economy
agreed to jointly improve the business environment for small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) and support the growth of the private sector, key for
Belarus’ sustainable development.
The Investment Climate Advisory program will advise the ministry and other
state institutions on reducing regulatory burdens and increasing business
competitiveness, helping the private and public sectors, including municipalities,
implement reforms to help local producers expand and open new markets.
“Small and medium enterprises are a
growing part of the country’s economy. There are over 1.5 million entrepreneurial
Belarusians eager to contribute to the creation of a modern and competitive
Belarusian economy,” said Vladimir Zinovsky, the Minister of Economy of
Belarus. “We have high hopes for our entrepreneurs and greatly appreciate
IFC’s readiness to share its global expertise with our country.”
The joint effort aims to support the
country’s SME development strategy, including changes to legislation designed
to harmonize Belarusian regulatory requirements with those of international
markets. The project will help establish an e-registry for administrative
procedures and streamline import-export procedures and cut costs to help
Belarusian producers join global supply chains
“We aim to help enhance Belarusian producers’
competitiveness by reducing the administrative burden, while ensuring public
interests are protected,” said Rufat Alimardanov, IFC’s Regional Manager
for Belarus and Ukraine. “This is part of our broader efforts to help
Belarus develop and diversify its private sector and create a more transparent,
business-friendly investment climate, spurring growth and jobs.”
The project is being implemented by the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness
Global Practice in partnership with the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency and the United States Agency for International Development.
The agreement signed builds on an IFC advisory program that has helped
Belarus reduce the number of procedures for businesses 19 percent since
2010, and the number of licenses 60 percent, saving SMEs an estimated $14
million a year. IFC has invested over $577 million in 47 projects across
different sectors in Belarus.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.